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View Diary: My Hero Jihad (271 comments)

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  •  You'll just hijack anything... (none)
    ...won't you?
    •  Ooh a Loaded Word (none)
      Should I respond with, "you'll just bulldoze anything, won't you"?

      I think this cartoon crisis(TM) is evil.  It's like something dreamt up in the bowels of the Pentagon to fan hatred around the world.  It shouldn't even be discussed any longer until things cool off.

      Both sides suck: the tastless free speech absolutists and the violent defenders of a so-called "peaceful" religion.

      There are no good guys in this mess.  People should knock it off already.

      "Their children's children shall say they have lied" - Yeats

      by Necons Will Ban Me on Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 05:08:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah... (none)
        ...because without the Pentagon, no one would hate anyone.

        And how exactly is a Jordanian who tried to speak his mind and was arrested for it not a 'good guy'?

        •  Well (none)
          ...because without the Pentagon, no one would hate anyone.

          Sure they would, it just wouldn't be so darn lucrative.

          And I'm done with the manufactured Cartoon Crisis(TM) and every destructive, self-righteous fool braying hysterically on either side.  

          Its fifteen seconds are just about up.

          "Their children's children shall say they have lied" - Yeats

          by Necons Will Ban Me on Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 05:44:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Jay I have to admit.... (4.00)
          the first thing I thought of is, what if the New York Times printed the Pope sodomizing a 10 year boy or something about discounting the Holocaust, just to prove free speech? I think it was a really stupid thing to do in this day and age. The west has invaded a Muslum country, this plays to all their fears. I don't think these were innocently printed, I think people knew this was going to happen....just took a few months. We are seeing the "demonization" of a religion and a people...and unfortunately more people are buying to this mess on both sides, everyday. I can't think of a organized religion that has not been used in history to "murder, rob and invade". Not one.
          Now the neo-cons will use this as excuse not to print the abu grab photos that should be released.
          BTW...even when the first photos were printed, it did not solicit the same response as defaming the
          spiritual father of a religion, so obviously alot of Muslums are at the end of their humiliation.
          I am not arguing against free speech...just the stupidity of this action.

          Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

          by mattes on Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 06:18:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (none)
            ...I am not sure where to begin, mattes.  There are two ways I can look at this, from the perspective of a person who works in the arts, and as an artist; or I can look at it from the position of politics.

            Because as an artist, I think that a cartoon of the Pope, particularly this Pope, sodomizing a ten year old is deserved, more so than any of the Danish cartoons.  Art has a responsibility to provoke and to incite.  Art is inherently dangerous, which is why Plato denigrates artists, and expels them from the Republic.  Art that is cautious and responsible has little to no value.  And I live in mortal fear of what could come to pass if we denigrate art for not being responsible.  And not only because I'll be out of a job.

            As a person interested in politics, I see the harm these cartoons do, and the profit in them is unclear.  They are not wholesome or decent, and they are meant to inflame.  And they are inflaming people who already are combustible, and for somewhat good reason.  It also forces a hand many would prefer unforced: that there is a clash of civilizations going on, although it is not one between the West and the Muslim world, but one of pluralism versus nationalism.  Although I hate to mention it, Israel is an excellent example of this; a nation at war with itself, because it cannot resolve its pluralistic values with its nationalistic identity.

            So the conflict becomes an internal one.  Which part of my identity is more important: my personal values, or my impersonal understanding of the world?  I don't have a clear answer.  Is it wiser to avoid the issue, to restrain our expression of our values to prevent the deaths of many?  I can't answer that either.  But I will say this, in defense of art and of the cartoons: for good or ill, they have cut through the rhetoric and reached the heart of the issue better than all the talk that has come since September 2001.  Whether that is a good or a bad thing is too large of a moral question for me to be able to answer.

            •  These cartoons were printed (none)
              in a newspaper, not in an exclusive art show.

              I remember buying a collection of books once, and included in this collection was a photo book. I opened the book to a photo of a naked man with a whip up his butt, I was new to the book business at that time and I knew I had in my hands what would eventually become a very collectible high priced book. YET, I could not look at the other photos and choose to throw the book away. Now 15 years later...what would I do if I knew I could get a couple thousand dollars for it. Don't know. What I do know is that the community I lived in...midwest/republican area would FLIP OUT if I put the book on display. Looking back I am glad I threw out the book....I used discression...responsiblity. Now, I think nothing about watching Queer As Folk or the L Word....and I get mad that there is no mention of these shows at award time....I guess it's all about timing and intent. At least for me. I would rather provoke for peace than war, and I don't like the people in power at this time.

              Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

              by mattes on Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 07:51:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They are still art... (none)
                Look, one of the fundamental qualities of art is that they do not articulate their meaning directly.  What is taken from the cartoons is not simply what the artist imbued them with, but what each viewer brings to them.  Intent on the part of the artist is only tangentially relevant.  Does Michelangelo's intent speak to those who visit the Sistine Chapel, or is it something else entirely?

                I could go on and on about the philosophy of art (trust me, I'd love to) but I won't bore you or other readers.  All I can say is that it is hard to measure or judge whether peace or war will be the result of these cartoons in the long term, or if they had not occurred, that something else would not have resulted in similar circumstances.  And of course, the people in power in Denmark are not the people in power here.  But thanks for the thoughtful discourse.

                •  We are floating on the same raft. (none)
                  Funny, I was just going to add a note, that the more our sporatic dialogue continues the more I like you, and recognize the "dilemma of the dichotomy" of the world we all live in. The internet is opening a doorway of discourse that has never been possible before. These are interesting times.

                  Artists reign! They are the canaries. The editors, I am not so sure about...

                  Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

                  by mattes on Tue Feb 07, 2006 at 08:36:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Editors = Pigs (none)
                    Trust me I used to work as one.

                    And if you don't believe me, just ask a writer about them.

                    They do, to try and defend them, get extremely  precious about the ideals of having a free press.

                    Artists on the other hand are amazingly wonderful people who produce thought provoking iconoclastic works that push the boundaries of acceptability.

                    For some unfortunate reason I find them very irritating to talk to. It's probably because I'm a pig. :)

                    •  Look what I found (none)
                      on other diary:
                        Oh it gets better my friends... (none / 0)

                      Cartoon editor Fleming Rose and the tentacles of PNAC?
                      Cartoons are a purposeful provocation

                          It turns out the editor who originally publshed the "offensive" Muslim cartoons is a disciple of Daniel Pipes and the "clash of civilizations" theory put out by Project for a New American Century. PNAC is the outfit that called for a "Pearl Harbor event' in order to initiate a global war against the Muslim world.

                      by thor on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 12:21:06 AM PD

                      Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

                      by mattes on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 12:00:49 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, link (none)
                        Where is the link?
                        •  See link above.. (none)
                          I would like to know if this is true.

                          Jay, if you are here, I'd like your comments. If the intent was to inflame, "commissioned"...don't you think some liability is in order? Not art but propaganda.

                          Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

                          by mattes on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 08:08:25 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, mattes... (none)
                            ...here's the narrative of the cartoon story as I have pieced it together from various sources:

                            Some Danish artists were asked to illustrate a children's book about Mohammed, and refused, for fear of their safety.  After Pim Fortyn and Theo Van Gogh's murders, this is understandable.  When the Danish newspaper heard about it, they commissioned some of the same illustrators and other artists to do the cartoons.  They deliberately wanted the cartoons to obey no limits of good taste or respect.  Rather, they felt angry that in their own country, one of the most liberal in the world, artists would fear to illustrate a children's book for concern over their lives.  And because they felt that artists were being pressured into self-censorship out of fear, they felt that stepping clearly over the line would force the Danish community to confront the chill that had come over their right to free expression.

                            Now, I don't think that is wise, but I do think that it is right.

                            As far as the link goes, I think it is utter bullshit.  First of all, the Danes are some of the most liberal people in Europe.  I find the notion that they desire some "clash of civilizations" preposterous.  I also think we are starting to see just how much this crisis is a creation of certain interests in the Middle East - I'd like to bring your attention to this story, which is a scan of the cartoons published in an Egyptian paper in October.  Funny how the immediate outrage then didn't even make the news.  Because it didn't happen.

                            Second, I think the article makes its bias abundantly clear by repeatedly suggesting that the embrace of free speech by the Danes is posturing because they don't similarly welcome Holocaust denial.  That's simply absurd.  The writer's own insistence about making it about the Holocaust, and about Zionists makes this preposterous to me.

                            Daniel Pipes is a scumfuck, there is no denying that.  But this is a ridiculous conspiracy theory, backed up by no evidence, making outlandish claims.  And there is clearly an end that the article seeks - to lay the blame, and the target of Muslim anger, squarely on the backs of the Jews.  Reprehensible, in my opinion.  To suggest that free speech is "non-existent" in Europe because they will not support Holocaust revisionism is a loathsome lie.  The entire premise of the article is that Jews desire open war with Muslims.  How ridiculous.

                            Thanks for asking for my input.  I hope you don't consider that a mistake.  =)

                          •  No, mistake. I want your input, (none)
                            even if sometimes we don't agree. What I do believe is that both sides (whatever the original intent) are now using these photos to inflame the situation.  Also bothers me that Bush hired Daniel Pipes for anything. Somewhere around here is a story about how the same paper refused to print some obscene Christian drawings.

                            Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

                            by mattes on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 06:00:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, I appreciate that... (none)
                            I don't care much that Bush hired Pipes, even though he is a scumfuck - it isn't like Bush knows anyone who isn't or would give someone who wasn't a job.

                            The story about the Christian drawings is irrelevant for two reasons: first, they were unsolicited (in 2004, a year before they decided to print the Muhammed cartoons), and second, they aren't news.  Obscene art like 'Piss-Christ' involving Christian iconography is commonplace.  What makes the cartoons news is the self-censorship of the illustrators, and the fact that no one felt that this should be done.  There is a school of thought in the arts that taboo-breaking is a virtue, and by that standard, these a virtuous in a way that art that denigrates Christianity or Judaism is not.

                            Now, those are not my positions, but I understand the logic behind them.  You are correct about how the cartoons are being used by some now, but that does not impact why they were printed.  Question: do you believe that the paper should have forseen how their purpose would be used, and if so, did they have an obligation to self-censor?

                            P.S.- I put out another diary today on a totally unrelated subject if you have a chance to drop by it.

                          •  For a "free society" to function (none)
                            there absolutely has to be self-censorship. "I" could have predicted what would happen, how could they have not? There is no doubt in my mind that someone knew what the outcome of printing these cartoons would be. The very fact that the cartoons were solicited is offense, and ONE drawing could have made the point....why print so many? These hypocrites would not illustrate a children's book for fear of retaliation but would draw something intented to offend?? And what kind of a person goes to write a book about a religion for CHILDREN and then gets angry when they find out a religious teaching of said religion prohibits the illustrations and then takes the story to the press. Bullshit. Too convienently, the book was not intented for adults because they had to make a point about "illustrating Muhammad". SO WRITE the childrens book and illustrated from the perspective of Mohammad and explain/teach about idolatry. No need to show Mohammad.
                            The whole story stinks to me....(you asked).

                            Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

                            by mattes on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 06:43:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow... (none)
                            ...okay.  I didn't mean to get your dander up.

                            Putting aside the first aspect of your post for a second, these aren't the writers of the book.  And from what I understand, it was a book intended for Danish children to teach them about religious diversity.  I'm not sure that the publishers of the book knew (or cared) that according to most Muslims, artistic renderings of the Prophet are forbidden.  But the book was published, without the illustrations, and is unrelated to the issue except that it was the cause for the newspaper to commission the cartoons.

                            To some extent, this is all a tangential effect of a different problem.  The world has gotten smaller, and media that used to cater to a small audience is now worldwide.  So where is the line?  Do we make characters in American television shows not wear miniskirts because this will offend more traditional societies who can get these shows on satellite?  Because that is a real issue.

                            But before we go on, I want to ask a question: why is self-censorship essential?  What good has censorship in any form achieved?  And this question has real personal impact for me: I've helped make television shows and movies with horrific violence and full-frontal nudity.  Was that wrong of me?

                          •  LOL...I could feel my blood (none)
                            pressure going up.
                            I still think it was stupid for the editors to do this in the middle of a war.

                            Self-censorship is about knowing your audience. I don't personally like violence, shown to young people it desensitizes them. These are complicated issues. BTY, before being in books I managed a fortune 100 companies' video and meeting planning department and my sister owns a film equipment company in LA and Mexico City. Are you in LA? Full-frontal nudity, eh? Hope is not just girls!

                            I've been reading about the whole Google censorship thing....what I think is that because of our communication technologies, it's going to be very hard to stay insulated in any fashion for long. These are just band aids, I have read alot of SF, and who knows where we are going, it's unpredictable long term. I must admit I was quite the prude most of my life, now I don't know what I think, I take it step by step...then revise.
                            For some reason I have become addicted to the political scene and how it relates to world history, especially the middle east. DK is a fountain of information. I am glad I found it.

                            Is it time for new democratic consultants? No accountability, no money.

                            by mattes on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 08:09:42 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Cheers... (none)
                    ...and the feeling is mutual.

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